I walked out of my office just after 3 pm this afternoon. The St. Lawrence River was iron grey in colour and white caps, whipped up by the incoming winds of Hurricane Sandy, crisscrossed the surface giving it texture and making it look wild and tempestuous.
There is a path from the college along the waterfront that I often walk when I have a few minutes. Today it beckoned me to run along it, to run into the wind. I was struck by the memory of another run I took along the same St. Lawrence on a windy night years and years ago. I was teaching in Quebec City at the Naval Fleet School there, and the wind came howling up on the heels of a snowstorm. I can't quite recall why, but I threw on my coat and boots and went out into the weather enjoying every second of the wind whipping around me; the power and passion of a stormy evening.
I did not run today. Had to get home, meet the kids off the bus. But I wanted to. To abandon - just for a moment - routines and commitments and possibly even sanity, to run face into the wind.
Instead I am home. I've got the fire in the kitchen going and the old farmhouse is warm and cozy. The wind is whistling around the chimneys and tree branches are waving in at every window. Dinner is on, the girls are doing homework; I sent Erik out to get anything that might blow away; and I'm thinking after today, reshingling the old garage is going to be even more necessary than before.
It's a different kind of satisfaction, being in away from the storm. Watching the darkness roll toward you and knowing that it can come and we are ready for it. I hope everyone on the eastern seaboard fares so well.